Akiba ben Joseph

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Akiba ben Joseph

(əkē`bə), c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 135, Jewish Palestinian religious leader, one of the founders of rabbinic Judaism. Although the facts of his life are obscured by legend, he is said to have been a poor and illiterate shepherd who began his rabbinic studies at the age of forty. Tradition views him as one of the first Jewish scholars to systematically compile Hebrew oral laws, the MishnaMishna
, in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. Together with the Gemara, or Amoraic commentary on the Mishna, it comprises the Talmud.
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. He is believed to have been executed by the Romans in the aftermath of the messianic revolt of Bar KokbaBar Kokba, Simon,
or Simon Bar Cochba
[Heb.,=son of the star], d. A.D. 135, Hebrew hero and leader of a major revolt against Rome under Hadrian (132–135). He may have claimed to be a Messiah; the Talmud relates that Akiba ben Joseph credited him with this title.
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 (A.D. 132–135), though the extent of his participation is a matter of controversy. He is one of the martyrs mentioned in the Jewish penitential prayer.

Bibliography

See study by L. Finkelstein (1936, repr. 1970).